Thursday, June 30, 2011

Holiday Service in Effect on July 4

Port Authority's bus, T and incline service will operate on holiday schedules on Monday, July 4.

The Customer Service phone line will hold holiday hours, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the Downtown Service Center will be closed Monday in observance of Independence Day. The Authority's Twitter account will not be staffed on July 4.

For more details, visit or call Customer Service at (412) 442-2000 or for TTY, (412) 231-7007.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stakeholder Relations Meeting Added for July 7

Port Authority of Allegheny County's Board of Directors has added a Stakeholder Relations Committee Meeting to its calendar for Thursday, July 7.

The meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Neal H. Holmes Board Room, 5th Floor, 345 Sixth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh, and is open to the public.

A full calendar of Board and committee meetings is available on Port Authority's website.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Headlines: The Future of Port Port Authority

Lately, Post-Gazette's "The Next Page" column has featured several pieces dealing with public transportation. The Post-Gazette recently invited Port Authority staffers to author their own piece explaining how we've tried to improve the system, what challenges we've faced and what's next. Read all about it in "The Future of Port Port Authority."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Port Authority Board Adopts Fiscal Year 2012 Budgets

Port Authority's Board of Directors today adopted a $370.2 million operating budget for its Fiscal Year 2012 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012) that maintains service, staffing and fares at current levels.

"There's a window of opportunity now for leaders across the state to finally resolve the transportation funding crisis," said Authority CEO Steve Bland. "Collectively, we can establish a more reliable and sustainable funding source to ensure public transportation continues benefiting riders in the Pittsburgh region and throughout the state."

The Authority is able to stabilize service, fares and staffing through June 30, 2012 only by using most of its remaining reserves and the remainder of the one-time $45 million emergency contribution made by former Gov. Rendell. If leaders are unable to agree on a transportation funding solution by the end of FY 2012, Port Authority then would face a significant deficit for FY 2013 and be forced to cut more service to offset the reduction in funding.

"We're very encouraged by the widespread interest in protecting our transportation programs in Pennsylvania and Gov. Corbett's initiative to seek potential solutions through the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission," Bland said.

The Commission is expected to issue recommendations by Aug. 1.

The Authority's balanced budget follows a rocky year for transit riders. The Authority was forced to increase fares, reduce service by 15 percent in March and eliminate 260 positions to help offset the state funding cuts.

In Pennsylvania, all public transit systems receive a significant level of funding, based on a formula, from state government to help provide daily services. At Port Authority, this amount is supposed to be $184.1 million. However, a state budget shortfall was caused last year primarily by a federal decision to not allow Pennsylvania to generate revenue by charging tolls on Interstate 80. In addition, state sales tax receipts were down.

A few facts about this year's budget:

  • $370.2 million total expenses, up from $356.6 million – about a 3.8 percent increase.
  • Approximately $40 million in one-time use of reserves and the remainder of the state’s $45 million emergency contribution are needed to balance the budget.
  • Port Authority projects ending FY 2012 with only $10 million in reserves.
  • Union employees will receive a 3 percent contractual wage increase. Non-union employees are under a wage freeze.
Capital Budget

The Authority's Board also approved capital improvement budgets for two years. The fiscal year 2011-12 budget totals $182.9 million and the fiscal year 2012-13 budget totals $149.2 million.

Operating and capital improvement budgets serve different functions. Capital funding received from local, state and federal sources that is designated for specific projects cannot be used for operating expenses.

The capital budget reflects how Port Authority maintains its extensive system, including 26 miles of light rail tracks, nearly 15 miles of busways and roughly 800 vehicles. Major projects such as the North Shore Connector extension are paid with capital budget dollars, not operating dollars.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Headlines: "Critical need: Let's keep an open mind on transportation funding"

This week the Post-Gazette editorial page weighs in on transportation funding and the monumental task that the newly created Transportation Funding Advisory Commission faces -- determining solutions for sustainably funding mass transit and Pennsylvania's deteriorating roads and bridges. Read more.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Introduced.

Port Authority's proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget keeps current service levels, fares and staffing stable through June 30, 2012.

However, if the state's transportation funding crisis is not resolved, the Authority could be facing further challenges in 2013. Read more about current efforts to address transportation funding in Pennsylvania.

A slideshow presentation providing an overview of the proposed budget -- including context, highlights and possible and challenges is available on Port Authority's website, as are charts detailing the proposed operating and capital budgets.

The Board of Directors will vote on the Fiscal Year 2012 budget at its June 24 meeting.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Update: Error on printed 16-19L schedule.

An error has affected the recently released 16 Brighton and 19L Emsworth Limited bus schedule. The printed schedule brochure dated 6/12/11 is incorrect -- it shows fewer trips and less frequent service than what is actually offered on the 19L and provides incorrect trip times for 16's weekend and holiday service.

The 16-19L schedule currently posted on our website is correct; for riders who don't have internet access, Port Authority is distributing cards on buses and at schedule racks that show the correct information.

Please note that the 17 Shadeland timetable included in the printed schedule brochure alongside 16 and 19L is correct.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dump the Pump Day is This Thursday

With high gas prices forecasted for the rest of the summer, now is the perfect time to try transit. June 16 is the sixth annual National Dump the Pump Day, and Port Authority of Allegheny County – along with transit agencies around the country – is encouraging people to save money by parking the car and using public transportation instead.

Pittsburghers can save an average of $799 monthly and $9,583 annually by using transit, according to the latest figures from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), which founded National Dump the Pump Day in 2006.

To calculate your individual savings, visit APTA’s Fuel Savings Calculator.

The benefits of public transit aren’t limited to your wallet. Consider the environmental impact of “dumping the pump”:
  • Public transportation use in the United States reduces our nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. This is equivalent to the emissions resulting from the electricity generated for the use of 4.9 million households, or every household in Washington DC, New York City, Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles combined.
  • One person switching to public transit can reduce daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.
See how you can reduce your carbon footprint by using public transit with the Carbon Savings Calculator.

To plan your trip using Port Authority transit, try our Trip Planner, view our Park and Ride information or call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or for TTY, 412-231-7007.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Reminder: Some Timetables Adjusted on Sunday

Schedules for about 20 bus and T routes will see adjustments effective this Sunday, June 12.

These minor changes are made by Port Authority four times per year to adjust and improve service.

You can read more about these changes and view the new schedules by visiting our earlier blog post or going to Click on the name of the route to view the new schedule.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Buses Detour for Pride Weekend, June 11-12

About 35 Port Authority bus routes will be detoured this weekend for this year's PrideFest, Pride in the Streets and Pride Awareness March in Downtown Pittsburgh. Only certain Downtown stops will be served during these events.

The earliest detours will begin with start of service on Saturday, June 11, with the longest detours lasting until approximately 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 12. Certain routes will be detoured only during Sunday's Pride Awareness March, from about 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

View our PDF brochure detailing detours and temporary stop changes. This brochure is also available at major schedule racks.

For assistance, call Customer Service at (412) 442-2000 or for TTY, (412) 231-7007.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Red Line Boarding Changes June 9-14

Port Authority contractors will close the inbound side of the Mt. Lebanon rail tunnel this week to install new track. The closure will begin at approximately 7 pm Thursday, June 9, and continue around the clock until approximately 4 am on Tuesday, June 14.

The closure will require single tracking near the tunnel, affecting boarding for many Red Line riders. During the closure, riders headed inbound from Dormont Junction or Mt. Lebanon stations must board from the outbound platform. Minor delays are possible, particularly during peak periods.

This rail work continues from last week, when contractors closed the outbound side of the tunnel for several days to install track.

For more information, visit or call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or for TTY, 412-231-7007.

St. Anne's Park and Ride closed June 13-18

From June 13 through June 18, 2011, St. Anne’s Park and Ride will be closed to accommodate their annual church carnival.

Port Authority customers who normally park at St. Anne’s are encouraged to use the South Hills Village 2,200-space parking garage during this period. Alternate park and ride lots such as Washington Junction, Castle Shannon and Memorial Hall are also available, but usually fill to capacity early.

Riders parking at the South Hills Village Garage with one-zone transit passes must pay an additional $1.00 in T fare each way between Downtown and South Hills Village. The daily parking rate for the South Hills Village Garage is $2.00.

For more details, call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or use our online Trip Planner or Park and Ride information page.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Update on PA Transportation Funding Advisory Commission

Gov. Tom Corbett's newly created Transportation Funding Advisory Commission has been discussing the statewide funding crisis since April and is expected to recommend potential solutions for roads, bridges and transit by Aug. 1. The group is led by PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch and charged with looking at potential long-term transportation funding solutions for roads, bridges and transit.

The 35-member commission consists of representatives from throughout Pennsylvania (the full membership list is available on the Commission’s website) and has met twice since its inception, with a third meeting scheduled for today.

Meetings have been focused on a number of topics, including the history of transportation funding in Pennsylvania and a brainstorming session on possible funding ideas for transportation. Meeting minutes and materials are available for public download on the Commission’s website.

Port Authority is closely following the Commission's progress and remains eager to work with leaders statewide on recommendations that would provide sustainable and growing funding sources for roads, bridges and public transit for years to come.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Red Line Boarding Changes June 2-7

Port Authority contractors will close the outbound side of the Mt. Lebanon Rail Tunnel this week to install new track. The closure will begin at approximately 8 pm on Thursday, June 2 and continue around the clock until approximately 4 am on Tuesday, June 7.

The closure will require single tracking near the tunnel, so the rail work will affect boarding for some Red Line riders. During the closure, riders headed outbound from Dormont Junction or Mt. Lebanon stations must board from the inbound platform.